Anthony Geranio '16
Anthony Geranio is majoring in computer information systems, with a minor in accounting. Although just a sophomore, the Millstone, N.J. native has already put his studies to good use.
During his freshman year at Quinnipiac, Geranio began developing the iOS application, Wit, which rewarded users with a wide range of prizes for answering one question a day correctly. Businesses like McDonald's, Poland Spring and GoDaddy partnered with him on the venture.
"I just thought people should get something for being smart or having an opinion." Geranio said, admitting that he spent much of his free time working on the app in his residence hall room. "My grades suffered a little bit, but I'd rather get a 3.0 and have something successful than have a 3.5 and not."
Geranio was the lead developer on the application, while Kris Mendoza, a student from Western Washington University that Geranio met on a forum but never in person, served as designer.
The free application, which launched in May 2013, was featured on the iTunes App Store in multiple categories and quickly racked up thousands of downloads.
"It was a gimmick; that's all it was," Geranio said. "I didn't expect it to grow like it did."
Geranio's accounting skills came into play when he and Mendoza sold Wit to a Boston-based internet startup for an undisclosed amount in September 2013.
Geranio and Wit received plenty of attention and he was offered a summer internship with NBC News Digital's social media team. There, he developed and directed two websites: www.royalbabyguess.com and www.istherescotusdecision.com. The sites were featured in several publications and blogs, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "I may go back next summer."
Guido Lang, an assistant professor of computer information systems who has advised Geranio on his startups, said he is not surprised by his student's accomplishments.
"Anthony is an excellent iOS developer who is also very good at spotting a business opportunity," Lang said. "That's a rare combination. I'm always impressed by his maturity and clarity of thought. I really enjoy working with Anthony also because he reminds me a little bit of myself. Just like him, I started my first Internet company right out of high school and have been involved in several startups since then. My experience allows me to give him a few pointers on how to put his ventures on the right track. I expect great things from Anthony and I look forward to working with him on his current and future projects."
Even with the success of Wit and the positive experience at NBC, Geranio is not resting on his laurels. He is the co-founder and lead developer for Reightit, a social network for college students that he and Bobcats' Mike Monaco and Will Chavers hope to launch in January.
"It could be big," said Geranio, adding that he first became interested in computers at 14. "It's the best thing that ever happened to me. My parents did not understand at first. Not many adults have digital minds. Now they are proud of me."
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